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Applications are currently not being accepted for American Conservatory Theater’s Summer Training Congress. We plan to continue the program in-person in Summer 2022. To be notified when applications open, please contact conservatory@act-sf.org.

We encourage people to consider A.C.T.’s other actor training program, which is being temporarily offered entirely online: The 15-week San Francisco Semester.

Q: Do I need to have any experience in order to enter the program?
A: Yes. We accept students at varying levels of development, but you must have some acting experience in classes and/or productions.

Q: What do I need to include in my application?
A: The following materials should be submitted with your application: completed on-line application form, current resume listing previous training and experience, one full-face snap shot or 8 x 10 headshot, contact information for your recommenders, transcripts (official or unofficial) from all colleges and universities you have attended or proof of high school graduation if you have not attended college, and an essay (no longer than one typewritten page) describing why you are pursuing a career in theater. 

Q: Can I submit my application materials separately, or do I need to submit all of it at the same time?
A: All materials and information must be submitted at the same time. You will be able to save information online until you choose to submit your application. Our online application will ask you to provide the contact information for your recommenders, including name, phone number and email address. Upon submission of your application, your recommenders will be emailed instructions on how to submit their letters. You must upload a current transcript from your most recent school in order to submit your online application.

Q: Do I need to request official transcripts from my most recent school, or can I send unofficial copies?
A: We will accept either official or unofficial transcripts.

Q: What should my resume include? Should it list non-theater experience?
A: Your resume should list all theater work. This can include acting classes, voice lessons, seminars, university productions, community productions, and/or professional productions.

Q: I have obtained more than two letters of recommendation. Should I upload all of them?
A: No. Please include only the two letters we have requested. In the event that we receive more than two letters for any applicant, we will review only the first two letters we receive.

Q: Is there an age requirement?
A: The STC accepts applicants who have graduated from high school and are age 18 or older. Students who are under age 18 should refer to A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory. Students who have not graduated from high school and are over the age of 18 should refer to Studio A.C.T.

Q: Is the deadline date a received-by deadline or a postmarked-by deadline?
A: We must receive your application on or before the deadline date.

Q: May I visit the school for a tour?
A: If you are in the area, the director of academic affairs or a conservatory associate will be happy to speak with you about our actor training programs. However, please read through the brochure and familiarize yourself with the application materials before your visit. You can make an appointment by emailing conservatory@act-sf.org.

Q: I submitted in my application but haven't heard anything. Should I call the office?
A: Please wait at least two weeks after your application's estimated arrival date to call the office.

Q: What constitutes a modern/contemporary or classical monologue? How long should my pieces be?
A: A modern/contemporary monologue (for the five-week session) may come from any play written from the mid-19th century to the present day. A classical monologue (for the two-week classical intensive) may be in verse or prose—Shakespeare and his contemporaries are good resources. Your monologue should be no longer than two minutes.

Q: What are the program's hours?
A: Classes meet Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Hours on Friday are variable, but are also scheduled during that time frame. Evenings and weekends are free. Please note: Arranging rehearsal time outside of regularly scheduled class hours is essential to successfully completing the STC.

Q: What is the daily class schedule?
A: Typically, a student will attend a variety of classes on any given day and throughout the course of the week, including Acting, Movement, Voice, Speech and the Actor, Improvisation, Clowning, Text, Audition Technique, and Conservatory Hours (talkbacks with prominent actors, directors, and others working in the industry). Acting classes last between two to four hours; other classes last two hours. The day also includes one 15-minute break and a 45-minute lunch break. Students will find it necessary to schedule rehearsal time outside of class in order to work on scenes, monologues, etc. Total in-class time per week is approximately 32 hours.

Q: How do I receive college credit for STC courses? How many college credits will I receive?
A: You may request a transcript at the end of the program. Jack Sharrar, director of alumni affairs, will help you with this. Visit the STC Curriculum page for a guide to obtaining college credit.

Q: Are fee waivers available to cover my application fee?
A: Unfortunately, we do not offer fee waivers. Each applicant must pay the application fee. There are no exceptions.

Q: Does the STC provide housing for students?
A: A.C.T does not find housing for students. Apartments, rooms, and residence clubs are located within walking distance of the A.C.T. studios in downtown San Francisco. Other housing is available a short bus ride away, and San Francisco has an excellent public transportation system. We recommend that applicants use various online options to explore these possibilities. Our Student Handbook, sent to applicants upon acceptance to the program, includes more extensive information and suggestions.

Q: What kind of financial aid is available for the STC?
A: You can apply for either the STC scholarship or a private loan.

Q: Can I apply for a federal Pell grant or a Stafford loan?
A: No. The length of the STC does not qualify for these federal financial aid programs.

Q: Is there a separate application for financial aid?
A: Students interested in financial aid must complete the FAFSA (fafsa.gov) and the regular STC application by the financial aid deadline. There are no other required forms. If you are accepted into the program, you will then be considered for financial aid.

Q: Do I have to complete a FAFSA even if I am applying for the STC scholarship?
A: Yes. The STC scholarship is limited and awarded to students with financial need and merit. The FAFSA helps determine your need qualification.

Q: I am completing the FAFSA. What is A.C.T.'s school code?
A: Our school code is 014545. Please see the STC Financial Aid page for more information.

Q: What is the deadline for applying for the STC scholarship?
A: The deadline for applying for the STC scholarship is April 17, 2020.

Q: How do I apply for a private (educational) loan?
A: Contact the financial aid office for information on researching private (educational) loans.

Q: What if I am currently enrolled at another college and am receiving financial aid there?
A: If you are currently enrolled (including being on a summer break) at another college while attending A.C.T., you should contact that school's financial aid office and ask if you can arrange a financial aid consortium agreement.

Q: What is a financial aid consortium agreement?
A: A financial aid consortium agreement means that you can use financial aid (like a Stafford loan) from your home college to attend the STC. Again, please contact your school's financial aid office to make these arrangements.

Q: I'm an international student. What are my financial aid options?
A: As an international student, your financial aid options are restricted to non-federal awards. We do offer a small number of merit- and need-based scholarships each year, but international students should consult their country of citizenship for government-provided financial aid.

Q: What if I have other financial aid questions?
A: If you have other financial aid questions, please email Jerry Lopez at jlopez@act-sf.org or call 415.439.2411.

Q: Does A.C.T. offer student housing?
A: All students are responsible for finding and arranging their own housing for the duration of the program. A.C.T. can send you a guide to finding housing in the city, but cannot find housing for you.

Q: What is the Withdrawal process for the STC?
A: Notification of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing either by fax to 415.834.3210, or by email to the director of academic affairs at jsharrar@act-sf.org. Verbal notification, whether in person or by voicemail, is not accepted. A.C.T. will confirm notification in writing. Upon receipt of A.C.T.'s confirmation, your withdrawal will become official.

Q: After my withdrawal from the STC becomes official, will I get a refund?
A: For either session, there is no refund of library fees. Refunds on tuition and other fees are detailed below.

Withdrawal before the commencement of classes: 100% refund of tuition paid, less the nonrefundable deposit. Withdrawal during the first week of classes: 60% refund of tuition paid, less a $100 administrative fee. Withdrawal during the second week of classes: 50% refund of tuition paid, less a $100 administrative fee. Withdrawal after the Friday of the second week of classes: no refund.

Withdrawal before the commencement of classes: 100% refund of tuition paid, less the nonrefundable deposit. Withdrawal before the end of the second day of classes: 50% refund of tuition paid, less a $100 administrative fee. Withdrawal after the end of the second day of classes: no refund.

Students receiving a federal Stafford loan are subject to the Return of Title IV Funds refund policy. For details of this refund policy, please see the A.C.T. Student Handbook.

Q: Does A.C.T. offer other actor training programs?
Yes. Our 3-year Master of Fine Arts Program offers students graduate-level training in acting, and we accept applications every fall.

From acting and improvisation to musical theater and monologues, adult classes are also available throughout the year in Studio A.C.T.

A.C.T. also introduces actors at the start of their training to an active, ongoing engagement with the eclectic and energetic arts community of the Bay Area through our San Francisco Semester, a 15-week study away program for undergraduates. Embark on a 15-week theatrical and cultural immersion—a rich academic curriculum that will lead you to cultural destinations throughout the city and the bay.

Still have more questions?

If you still have questions after reading the FAQ and the other application materials, email conservatory@act-sf.org.